leading vaccine researcher Named as 2020 Distinguished Alumna
Pediatric infectious disease physician and leading vaccine researcher Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHP, has been named as University Liggett School’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.
“I am extremely honored to be the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient,” Feemster said. “It’s an unexpected and wonderful surprise.”
Dr. Feemster, a 1991 ULS graduate, is Medical Director of the Immunization Program and Acute Communicable Diseases at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Director of Research for the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Her current research includes vaccine acceptance among parents and immunization providers in the U.S. and internationally; community-based interventions to improve vaccine rates; neighborhood factors associated with the incidence of pertussis and influenza, and health-care-associated respiratory infection in the pediatric ambulatory setting.
“It’s exciting to be recognized by my alma mater for my work and research in infectious diseases and public health. I would not be where I am today without the strong foundation in academics and community involvement provided by Liggett. It’s also humbling to be in the company of such amazing and highly regarded ULS alumni,” she said.
Dr. Feemster serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Immunization Coalitions and the UNITY Consortium that promotes adolescent vaccination. She is also a technical advisor for the American Academy of Pediatrics Global Immunization Advocacy Initiative that works with pediatric societies to support immunization programs in GAVI eligible countries.
“We are certainly delighted to honor Dr. Feemster with the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award at Alumni Weekend,” said University Liggett School Director of Alumni Relations Katie Durno. “She has an amazing body of work, of course. But what’s really fantastic about Kristen, is her passion for and commitment to educating the public about disease prevention and the importance of vaccinations.”
She’s written numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts, the book Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know, and regularly provides vaccine education to a wide range of audiences.
Dr. Feemster received her MD and an MPH in Population and Family Health from Columbia University Schools of Medicine and Public Health in New York City. She completed her pediatric residency at CHOP then pursued a dual fellowship training program in health services research and pediatric infectious diseases. She was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania, completing a Master of Science degree in Health Policy Research then returned to CHOP for pediatric infectious disease training. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest alumni honor given at University Liggett School. Feemster and her amazing career will be celebrated during the school’s Alumni Weekend on May 15 and 16, 2020.
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Distinguished Alumni Award
Established in 2009, University Liggett School's Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a living alumna/us for their leadership, professional achievements, civic contributions, within their local community, the state or nation, service to University Liggett School, and/or other qualities that elicit pride from others who attend University Liggett School.
Past Distinguished Alumni Award recipients
- C-SPAN co-founder John D. Evans ’62 GPUS
- Washington Post foreign correspondent Keith Richburg ‘76
- Retired Rear Adm. Stanley W. Bryant ’64 GPUS
- Businessman Richard Baron '60 GPUS
- Businesswoman Denise Ilitch '73
- Businessman Bill Shelden ’68 GPUS
- Federal magistrate judge Nita Stormes '72
- Broadcast news journalist Miles O'Brien '77
- Carhartt heir Gretchen Valade '45 CDS
- Founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills Ralph Wilson '36 DUS
- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides '78